Ceylon Tea Museum

Boasting a 150-year-old legacy, Ceylon tea is one of the well-renowned brands of tea in the world! With numerous varieties of tea produced in the island under perfect climatic conditions, the commodity has a unique flavour profile and has a high demand in the international market. Tea production is also one of the main sources of GDP for the country’s economy contributing approximately 1.5 billion USD of revenue. The industry also offers employment for over 1 million people directly and indirectly. Also, being the fourth largest exporter of tea in the world, Sri Lanka accounts for approximately 24% of the world’s total tea exports.

Tea was introduced to the island as a viable replacement for the failing coffee production industry and was planted in the hills of Loolkandura, as a trial run. After a few months due to the fertile soil and high rainfall, the plants started growing rapidly and the harvested leaves produced a strong and aromatic flavour. This birthed an industry that will form a massive empire, so massive that It could fuel an entire nation’s economy. The establishment of the industry was made possible by James Tailor – a British planter who was the brains behind the pilot program. Today the country produces tea varieties such as real leaf green tea, black tea, silver tips tea, white tea, and many other flavoured teas. Ceylon tea today is depicted by the symbol of a lion which is also present in its national flag and its former glory remains untainted and is still growing!

The whole history of Tea in Sri Lanka could be learned at the Ceylon tea museum which is located in the Hanthana tea factory. Established in the year of 1925 this was once a fully functional factory that produced different types of tea. Part of the factory remains operational to show its visitors how Sri Lankan Tea was made during the colonial period. The museum today contains exhibits of machinery such as old electricity generators, dryers, rollers, fermentation tables, sorting machines, etc. it also features ceramic ware, equipment, and other items used by planters and tea pioneers such as James Taylor and Thomas Lipton. The museum is located on a four-storied tea factory and it also contains a library, tea rooms, and restaurants for tea tasting. A kiosk is also located within the museum premises where you can purchase unique varieties of tea.

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